Government Undermining Institutions: Mehbooba

Government Undermining Institutions: Mehbooba

27 February 2012
Greater Kashmir


Jammu: Leader of Opposition and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti Monday charged Chief Minister Omar Abdullah of betraying the trust of not only the people but even “his friends in New Delhi” by undermining and eroding the democratic institutions in the state. “He (CM) may have strong loyalists around him and well wishers in New Delhi but the ground situation in Jammu and Kashmir makes it clear that he has proved to be the feeblest Chief Minister in the state’s history”, Mehbooba told media persons at her official residence this evening. The briefing was organized by the party after media boycotted the Assembly proceedings. The PDP president alleged that the government was stage-managing the uproar and pandemonium in the Assembly over ‘diversionary issues’ in order to suppress the genuine voices and real issues confronting the people of the State. “The Chief Minister has now some MLAs on his pay roll only to create uproar whenever government finds itself in dock”, she alleged. “Today we had scheduled to put forth various important issues in the House, which included tabling of vigilance report in which Chief Minister and his ministers are found involved, extension given to around 80 officials in spite of failure of government to contain the unemployment problem, large-scale corruption and demand seeking tabling of report of an investigation conducted by the Vigilance Organization after an expose by Greater Kashmir about two years back,” she said. Raising fingers towards Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) MLAs and Independent MLA Engineer Abdul Rashid, she said that coalition government has “kept some daily wagers who un-necessarily raise issues on the instructions of their masters to divert the attention of masses from the core issues.” Referring to her speech in the LA, while participating on the motion on Governor’s address, Mehbooba said that unflinching support was extended to Omar Abdullah at national level, both from his “friends” in Delhi, the ruling parties and the opposition. “But this is a wasted opportunity as the ground situation bears testimony to a persistent decline and fall in values, growth, and governance”, she claimed. The tragedy, she said, is defined more explicitly by a bare fact that neither the distress of widows, orphans or disabled nor the suffering of unemployed educated youth moves the conscience of Chief Minister, who continues to remain in dock. Targeting the Chief Minister further, she said, “The State will continue to face problems as the highest institution, Chief Minister’s Office, has no moral and legal authority to call any illegal thing in question till it faces the investigation.” The erosion of faith in other institutions and expanding miseries of the people is a sordid tale one would like an end to, Mehbooba claimed to have told the House, adding, “But that NC elite continue to thrive on their miseries and in their own style of self-projection is playing with the image of the people outside State. That is why stone-pelters were projected as mercenaries, teenaged are booked and hand-cuffed, elders are ridiculed and merchants of greed live in their own image and make the innocent, struggling masses of the State as suspects at national level.” Referring to the recent remarks made by Omar Abdullah, PDP President said, “It is no tall claim but expression of a conviction arising out of self-realization that I have no craving for power, as Omar Abdullah would make people believe. The long struggle of my father and my humble background offer enough answer to such petty taunts.” This cannot, she said, stop me from seeking answer to infighting in the ruling alliance which has resulted in lack of accountability, non-implementation of central schemes and general misuse. “It is shocking that in the resource-starved State even casual labor is engaged on local funds and political influence and irregularities in NREGS, PHE, PDD and Education go unheeded”, she said adding that despite notices from Accountability Commission on appointments of Advisors in ‘unlawful manner,’ Government is unmoved and create a defence or runs for shelter in legal recourse instead of becoming transparent and morally upright. She further highlighted the achievements of previous PDP-led government in the State, saying that a political road map based on this vision was put into action by Mufti Muhammad Sayeed, which changed the narrative from shallow sloganeering to a real vision. “For the first time emotional blackmail of plebiscite days was substituted by fulfillment of goals in gradual and honest manner. Let me refer here to then Prime Minister Vajpayee’s peace initiative undertaken from troubled Srinagar itself and the follow up in Indo-Pak friendship which made the cross-LOC trade and opening of Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road possible as a dream come true.” She also referred to abolition of POTA, release of political leaders, closing of SOG and pace–setting developmental projects including Mughal Road along with reforms in administration lent a new direction to beleaguered system and restored confidence in the people during the PDP led government.